Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 6:00 PM CDT|Updated: 4 hours ago
Advancing A Healthier Wisconsin Endowment Invests in Organizations’ Efforts
MILWAUKEE, Sept. 14, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Today, on Food is Medicine Day, Progressive Community Health Centers is teaming up with Milwaukee-based non-profit Food For Health to lower the rates of maternal and infant adverse outcomes for high-risk women in Milwaukee’s vulnerable communities.
During the nearly year-long demonstration project, FFH will supply Medically Tailored Meals, nutrition education, and personalized well-being coaching to the three quarters of PCHC’s prenatal patients considered high risk due to diet-related conditions like type 2 Diabetes, acquired gestational diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and preeclampsia.
PCHC’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Allison Kos said that while PCHC provides strong, culturally sensitive prenatal and postnatal maternity care to Milwaukee’s vulnerable communities, healthcare is just one aspect of ensuring healthy pregnancies and births.
“We’re partnering with Food For Health because we’re committed to addressing structural aspects that our patients face in Milwaukee such as living in food deserts, lacking access to healthy foods, and knowing which foods work in your favor if you have diabetes or another diet-related disease,” said Kos. “Through this joint effort we are committed to clearly demonstrating that equitable access to medically tailored food and personalized programming can improve maternal health outcomes.”
FFH President and CEO Kathy Koshgarian said the meal plans are tailored specifically to recipients’ medical needs by registered dietitians. “The made-from-scratch meals are just one aspect of an entire wraparound continuum of care model supported by technologies, biometric screenings, and personalized coach-directed nutrition and lifestyle education. Our participant-centered program is structured to lead to life-long positive changes and can extend beyond the mother to the entire family, improving health outcomes and reducing the cost of health care. Our goal is to help PCHC patients manage and even reverse the negative impact of diet-related diseases and improve the delta for women of color regarding maternal health in Wisconsin,” said Koshgarian.
Kos said pregnant persons with gestational diabetes and preeclampsia are more likely to experience adverse outcomes including preterm delivery, low birthweight, and infant mortality. Between 2016-2018, preterm delivery accounted for almost 50 percent of all infant deaths and 52 percent of Black infant deaths in Milwaukee County. Data collected between 2014-2020 indicates that 11 percent of all Milwaukee County births and 16 percent of births to Black women were low birthweight, compared to 8 percent of statewide births. Racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities worsen these issues. The relationship between diet-related diseases, such as obesity, gestational diabetes, and preeclampsia, and adverse maternal and infant outcomes like preterm delivery, low birth weight, and infant mortality provided the basis to partner on this important project.
Funding for the joint program comes from a federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) grant directed to the Medical College of Wisconsin and the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to administer.
About Progressive Community Health Centers
Progressive Community Health Centers, a Federally Qualified Health Center, founded in 1999, exists to improve the health and quality of life of the community by providing culturally competent services that address identified needs. PCHC sees 15,000 patients annually for primary care, women’s health, specialty health care, behavioral health, dental, and enabling services across its three convenient locations around Milwaukee.
About Food For Health
Food For Health is a 501c3 public charity and community-based organization disrupting diet-related disease through a comprehensive Medically Tailored Meal (MTM) program. As the only MTM provider in the state of Wisconsin, we’ve joined forces with other like-minded organizations across the nation as part of the Food is Medicine Coalition (FIMC) to realize our vision of creating equitable access to healthy and happy lives through the power of food.
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SOURCE Food For Health
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